Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases. It is characterized by the progressive degeneration and eventual death of nerve cells (motor neurons) in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord that facilitate communication between the nervous system and voluntary muscles of the body. Ordinarily, motor neurons in the brain (upper motor neurons) sent messages to motor neurons in the spinal cord (lower motor neurons) and then to various muscles. ALS affects both the upper and lower motor neurons, so that the transmission of messages is interrupted, and muscles gradually weaken and waste away. As a result, the ability to initiate and control voluntary movement is lost. Ultimately, ALS leads to respiratory failure because affected individuals lose the ability to control muscles in the chest and diaphragm. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease.

Supporting Organizations

ALS Society of Canada

3000 Steeles Avenue East, Suite 200
Markham
Ontario, L3R 4T9
Canada
Tel: 9052482052
Fax: 9052482019
Tel: 8002674257
Website: http://www.als.ca/en

ALS Therapy Development Institute

300 Technology Sq, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 2139
USA
Tel: (617)441-7200
Fax: (617)441-7299
Email: info@als.net
Website: http://www.als.net

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association

27001 Agoura Road
Suite 250
Calabasas Hills, CA 91301-5104
USA
Tel: (818)880-9007
Fax: (818)880-9006
Tel: (800)782-4747
Email: als@alsa-national.org
Website: http://www.alsa.org

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A
Short Hills, NJ 7078
USA
Tel: (973)379-2690
Fax: (973)912-9433
Tel: (800)225-0292
Email: prc@ChristopherReeve.org
Website: http://www.christopherreeve.org

Cure SMA

925 Busse Road
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Tel: (847)367-7620
Tel: (800)886-1762
Email: info@cureSMA.org
Website: http://www.cureSMA.org/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations

P.O. Box 246
Northampton, NN1 2PR
United Kingdom
Tel: 441604611821
Fax: 441604624726
Email: alliance@alsmndalliance.org
Website: http://www.alsmndalliance.org

Les Turner Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation, Ltd.

5550 W. Touhy Avenue,
Suite 302
Skokie, IL 60077-3254
Tel: (847)679-3311
Fax: (847)679-9109
Tel: (888)257-1107
Email: info@lesturnerals.org
Website: http://www.lesturnerals.org

MND Scotland

76 Firhill Rd
Glasgow, G20 7BA
Scotland
Tel: 1419451077
Fax: 1419452578
Email: info@mndscotland.org.uk
Website: http://www.mndscotland.org.uk/

Muscular Dystrophy Association

3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
USA
Tel: (520)529-2000
Fax: (520)529-5300
Tel: (800)572-1717
Email: mda@mdausa.org
Website: http://www.mda.org/

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

National ALS Registry

4770 Buford Hwy NE MS F-57
Atlanta, GA 30341
Tel: (877)442-9719
Tel: (877)442-9719
Email: alssystemadmin@cdc.gov
Website: http://www.cdc.gov/als

New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc.

811 East Wisconsin Ave
P.O. Box 510034
Milwaukee, WI 53203
USA
Tel: (414)299-0124
Fax: (414)347-1977
Email: horizons@new-horizons.org
Website: http://www.new-horizons.org

Spastic Paraplegia Foundation

1605 Goularte Place
Fremont, CA 94539-7241
USA
Tel: (877)773-4483
Email: information@sp-foundation.org
Website: http://sp-foundation.org

UCSF Memory and Aging Center

350 Parnassus Avenue
Suite 905
San Francisco, CA 94117
Tel: (415) 353-2057
Fax: (415)476-4800
Email: mgeschwind@memory.ucsf.edu
Website: http://www.memory.ucsf.edu

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  9/29/2008
Copyright  2004 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.